Merton Edward Thayer Jr. of Sesser.
Merton Edward Thayer Jr., 79, of Sesser, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017.
He was born on Dec. 18, 1937, in New York, N.Y., to Virginia McHaney Thayer and Merton Edward Thayer. His family relocated to Chicago within a few years, and he grew up amid the bustle of the famed International Amphitheatre, which his father managed for three decades. Mert attended Grinnell College before ultimately graduating from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1963. He married Kathleen Loftus Thayer in Chicago in 1965 and enjoyed a career in product design before working as a draftsman and farmer after the couples relocation to Christopher in 1967.
His formal education and years of practical farming experience combined to make him equally adept at dreaming up inventions and rolling up his sleeves. His kindness, humor, advice, friendship, quick wit and integrity will be sorely missed.
Mert was preceded in death by his parents and his son, Merton Edward Thayer III.
He is survived by his loving wife, Kathleen, of Sesser; his daughter, Miriam (Doug) Brumley of Nashville, Tenn.; his grandson, Graham Brumley, of Nashville, Tenn.; and his brother Ed (Sandi) Thayer, of Chicago. His grandson, niece and nephews were always at the forefront of his mind. He will be very much missed by his extended family and friends in Chicago and Nashville, Tenn., and many local friends, especially his fellow members of the Rend Lake RC Club, where he was a director and dedicated much time and energy toward the hobby of constructing and flying radio controlled model airplanes. He also proudly established the annual Wayne Bennett Memorial Award, which honors his late uncle and is presented to the best-judged P-40, P-47 or P-51 model plane at the clubs annual Military Fly-In.
Memorial service plans will be formalized in the coming weeks. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Tree of Life at Marshall Browning Hospital in Du Quoin or to a preferred charity of your choice. Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home in Sesser is handling arrangements.